From Sheryl Benesch, Korbel Champagne Cellars.
This pan bread has an Italian heritage. It does not need butter and is best eaten shortly after it has emerged from the oven. It is excellent with vegetable soups.
Combine the waterm, yeast, sugar, and approximately 2 cups of the flour to make a thick paste. Mix thoroughly and let stand a few minutes until bubbles rise to the surface.
Combine the salt with the remaining flour; add gradually to the yeast mixture, until it will absorb no more flour. Knead the dough until the texture is smooth and not sticky to the touch; about 5 to 10 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in bulk. Punch dough down, place on a lightly floured surface, and knead for another minute. Let dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Brush a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan with 1/3 of the olive oil. Sprinkle the pan with 1/2 tablespoon of the dry Italian seasonings and 1 tablespoon of garlic. Roll the bread dough out to line the pan.
Lay the dough into the pan, brush with the remaining olive oil, sprinkle with the remaining garlic and Italian seasonings, and then the fresh herbs. (At this point the bread may be prepared a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator, on the prepared pan, to rise.)
Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Serves 8 to 12.
From: SERVE WITH CHAMPAGNE by Hilde Gabriel Lee with Allen Lee, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley. 1988. ISBN 0-89815-274-7 Shared by: Karin Brewer, Cooking Echo, 4/93